Jenn Young wins Libraries Innovation Grant

Jenn Young, Educational Analyst, Teaching & Learning Technologies.

The Libraries Grants Support Committee announced recently that Jenn Young was the recipient of the most recent round of Libraries Innovation Grants.

The proposal, “A Wikipedian-in-Residence: Empowering Emory to Engage with the World’s Most Popular Reference Work,” represents the work of the Emory Libraries Wikipedia Group, which includes staff from Woodruff Library, the Oxford College Library, and Teaching and Learning Technologies. Led by Young, these members of the working group include Courtney BaronKim Collins, Jennifer Elder, and Katie Rawson.

The Wikipedian-in-Residence program is one where a Wikipedia editor (a.k.a. Wikipedian) accepts a placement at an institution to facilitate creating and editing Wikipedia entries related to the institution’s collection and mission, to assist with making special collections materials accessible for Wikipedia users, and to develop the institution’s relationship with the Wikipedia community.

The grant money will be used for the following:

  • Hire a graduate student in Fall 2018 to serve as a Wikipedian-in-Residence. They will work with special collections teams in Rose Library, Carlos Museum, Pitts Theology Library, Woodruff Health Sciences Center Library, and Oxford Library on creating articles that pertain to their collections.
  • Fund the third annual Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon to be held in February. This is an event that the Wikipedia group has hosted since 2016 that teaches Wikipedia editing skills to the Emory community and facilitates improving and creating articles on women artists. This event takes place on both Atlanta and Oxford campuses.
  • Bring a speaker connected with Wikipedia to talk to the Emory community and facilitate dialogue about Wikipedia and academia.
  • Host a training session for faculty on the Wikipedia Education Foundation platform, which facilitates using Wikipedia for class assignments.
  • Host an additional edit-a-thon in Fall 2018.

In conjunction with these efforts, the Emory Libraries Wikipedia Group, along with the Wikipedian-in-Residence, will provide training sessions on editing Wikipedia for special collections staff as well as the broader Emory community. Additional supporting partners include CFDE and ECDS (they both provided internal support letters).

The benefits are obvious. According to the working group’s proposal, “Wikipedia contributes to the education of Internet users across the globe, including our own students at Emory. The relationship between academia and Wikipedia is a necessary one that has grown to foster positive partnerships.”

“In its early years, Wikipedia was contentious in many academic circles because it was seen as an unreliable resource. As Wikipedia grew in prominence and developed better quality control methods to root out problem articles and contributors, views on Wikipedia in academia are now generally positive, enabling collaboration and recognition of like goals and values between Wikipedia, universities, and libraries.”

“By increasing Emory’s involvement with Wikipedia, the initiatives covered by this grant would allow Emory to use its resources to add to and improve one of the most used and most impactful informational websites in the world. This contributes to better information on the web, and thus improves Emory’s overall contribution to global knowledge-sharing.”

Applications for the next cycle of innovation grants will coincide with the next fiscal year. However, applications for mini-grants are accepted on a rolling basis. Please feel free to contact the innovation grants committee for more information at LIBRARIESGRANTSSUPPORT [at] LISTSERV [dot] CC [dot] EMORY [dot] EDU.

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